At last, new Bradman territory to be conquered: the Don 1939–45 or, if we discount the ‘phoney war’ (‘Business as Usual’, as Robert Menzies said of that first phase in World War II), perhaps 1941–45. I imagined a slim volume. Not so! Instead, there is a catch to the subtitle of Bradman’s War: How the 1948 Invincibles Turned the Cricket Pitch into a Battlefield, which indicates that we will be on more familiar terrain.‘More familiar’ because this book is an attempt at revisionist history. Questioning the Bradman idolatry and the invincibility of the Invincibles is a suitable aim. However, the main task for the revisionist historian is to provide either fresh new evidence or a powerful reinterpretation of existing evidence as part of formulating a balanced argument: Malcolm Knox does neither.
Malcolm Knox: Bradman’s War
Bradman’s War: How the 1948 Invincibles Turned the Cricket Pitch into a Battlefield
by Malcolm Knox
Viking, $39.99 hb, 447 pp, 9780670076109
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Bernard Whimpress is a writer, historian, and former curator of the Adelaide Oval Museum. A member of the Australian Society for Sports History, Bernard has written twenty books mainly on sport, including The Official MCC Ashes Treasures, Passport to Nowhere: Aborigines in Australian Cricket 1850–1939, The Greatest Ashes Battles and as co-author The History of Australian Cricket. He published and edited the Australian cricket journal Baggy Green from 1998 to 2010.
By this contributor
- Bernard Whimpress reviews 'Feeling is the Thing that Happens in 1000th of a Second: A season of cricket photographer Patrick Eagar' by Christian Ryan and 'Lillee & Thommo: The deadly pair’s reign of terror' by Ian Brayshaw
- Bernard Whimpress reviews 'Stroke of Genius: Victor Trumper and the shot that changed cricket' by Gideon Haigh
- Bernard Whimpress reviews 'The Keepers' by Malcolm Knox
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